Elizabeth Hurley is still very real, you guys. We weren’t entirely sure what the onetime Austin Powers love interest did with her time until this morning, though, when we found out 1) she designs swimwear and 2) she’s involved in a scandal thanks to that swimwear line’s kid’s collection. Hurley calls the looks “fun” on her website, but parents who hate fun have banded together with a child protection charity in the U.K. and are accusing Hurley of sexualizing young girls. “It is very disturbing to see some inappropriate items in this swimwear range,” Claude Knight, the director of the charity Kidscape told the (okay, granted) Daily Mail.
The collection, prosaically named Elizabeth Hurley Beach, divides swimwear and beachwear for the “under 8” and “in betweenies” years, without much difference in between. Both offer bikinis involving surprisingly little fabric:
This one (above) is actually described on the website as being “for girls who want to look grown up.”
While this one is great grist for bubble-headed stylists who won’t stop parroting that leopard print is a neutral now. Although we’re not going to condemn anyone four putting a bikini on a little girl (not even you, Jessica Simpson) we would much rather see little girls at the beach wearing capes and dinosaur costumes than… tie-side leopard print bikinis.
A spokesperson for Hurley responded to the criticism by insisting the collection has sold “extremely well. Most of our customers are repeat customers who report that their kids adore the designs.” Well, then.